Somewhere along the way I developed preferences for some pieces and hatred for others. I even started associating pieces with people I like or hate, often based on the pieces’ tendency to aid or block the completion of a puzzle. Or because some designs please me more than others.
The peacocks are my favorite, perhaps because they’re the only animals in the game. I try to save a pair for last. It’s a bit of a bummer when they’re in the upper levels and I have to get rid of them early. I feel a bit of a failure when other pieces are the last ones. But the game doesn’t care. It doesn’t award extra points for peacocks. It doesn’t award any points at all. Ever. So I’ve developed a vague scoring system: Woo, peacocks! Hurray for me!
Woo! All the peacocks left! Double hurray for me!
We all grew up in a world of external validation. Some of us merely sensed it was useful to seek the approval of others. Some of us had it pounded into us (metaphorically or literally) that the opinions of others were all that counted and that the personal markers of value, success or joy were worthless and stupid. While our individual need for external validation may decline over the years, other people’s belief in their right and duty to pass judgment seldom does.
So we shouldn’t be surprised when those folks criticize our choice to live in a vehicle. And we should take it as seriously as their judgment of our favorite food. Or our favorite mahjong pieces.
There’s no reason their joy must be your joy, or vice versa. Live according to your own standards and dreams. Do what pleases you. Your points are the only ones that matter. Be a peacock.